San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, December 9, 2016

Can You Tell Me Why?

I came across this graphic the other day.  Take a look at it and the commentary that follows.  It came from this website.

england wales police killings the counted

"Fact: In the first 24 days of 2015, police in the US fatally shot more people than police did in England and Wales, combined, over the past 24 years.
Behind the numbers: According to The Counted, the Guardian’s special project to track every police killing this year, there were 59 fatal police shootings in the US for the days between 1 January and 24 January.  According to data collected by the UK advocacy group Inquest, there have been 55 fatal police shootings – total – in England and Wales from 1990 to 2014.  The US population is roughly six times that of England and Wales. According to the World Bank, the US has a per capita intentional homicide rate five times that of the UK."

Now it does not surprise me that my native people are non-violent.  The nastiest thing we do is go from house to house on Saint David's day hurling friendly insults at each other.  What is surprising is how many people the cops kill in this country.  Along the same lines as the above reference, I came across some additional data about police killings around the world.  According to this website:
  • Denmark: number of people killed by police between 1996 and 2006: 11 people — number of people killed per one million residents: .187 people.
  • The Netherlands: 24 people — .137 people
  • Sweden: 13 people — .133 people
  • Germany: 81 people — .089 people
  • Norway: 3 people — .060 people
  • England/Wales: 25 people — .042 people
  • Finland: 2 people — .034 people
  • US: 10,000 people killed — 35.5 killed for every one million residents
"Defenders of American police will often explain the disparity on the prevalence of guns in the United States. More people with guns and more gun crime means American police might be quicker to use deadly force. But if you compare per capita gun to per capita police homicides, that theory doesn’t hold up. The US has two to three times as many guns per capita as places like Denmark, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, and Wales. But the number of police homicides per capita is staggeringly high. Twice as many guns means 70 times as many people killed by police?"

I have a very simple question for you today.  Can you tell me why the above facts exist?  The Huffington Post predictably weighs in with this answer to my question:  "Llana attributes the difference in police shootings to U.S. gun laws, police education, training, and money"  The article I extracted this quote from said this was the "fairly obvious" answer to my question.  Is it really true that cops in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika kill citizens of this land at astronomically high rates simply because SDA citizens own more guns, the cops aren't schooled long enough and the taxpayers have not coughed up enough money to pay the cops who kill so many of us?  That answer certainly does not seem obvious to me.  So I will ask the question again, why do SDA cops kill SDA citizens at a far higher rate than any other nation in the world?
One possible answer is that Amerikans are the most evil people in the world.  I posted to this blog previously, commenting on the astronomically high rates of incarceration in this sinful land, that Amerikans must be the most evil people in the world because so many of us have been imprisoned by those who rule over us.  You can read that post here.  But I don't think most of you would agree with me if I actually took the position that Amerikans are more evil than Canadians, Mexicans, Italians or even the Welsh.  And I don't really take that position myself.  When it comes to being evil I believe all men are equal.   So, why are we being killed by gun carrying government employees more than any other geo-political zone in the world?
I don't think there is a single answer to this question but I do believe there are several contributing factors.  The first factor, as described at policemag.com, is "Police officers and military veterans are kindred spirits. Both wear their uniforms with pride. Both don their uniforms to be part of a larger team of professionals protecting those who can't protect themselves at great personal risk. And both operate within a rigid command structure. So it's natural that many military veterans seek employment in police ranks when they rejoin the civilian workforce. That's what is happening right now in numbers unseen since the closing days of the Vietnam War. The result is a job market flooded with well-qualified police officer candidates who served in Iraq and Afghanistan."  Men who have been trained to kill innocent people on their own property in foreign countries by marginalizing their humanity and describing them as terrorists can make the easy jump to killing citizens of the SDA on their own property by characterizing them as "bad" people, worthy of death.
The continuing militarization of the police forces in this country is also a contributing factor to the outrageous rate of police killings.  Jon McBride, in an article in the Wall Street Journal writes, "Police concerns about being outgunned may be a self-fulfilling prophecy and increasingly leads to local and state bureaucrats engaging in what lifetime appointed government workers do best: mission creep. If not expressly prohibited, police managers will continually push the arms race. Their professional literature is predominately based on the acquiring and use of newer weapons and more aggressive techniques to physically overwhelm the public. In many cases, however, this is the opposite of smart policing. Coupled with the paramilitary design of the police bureaucracy itself, the police give in to what is already a serious problem in the ranks: the belief that the increasing use of power against a citizen is always justified no matter the violation. The police don’t understand that in many instances they are the cause of the escalation and bear more responsibility during an adverse outcome  The suspects I encountered as a former police officer and federal agent in nearly all cases granted permission for me to search their property when asked, often despite unconcealed contraband. Now, instead of making a simple request of a violator, many in law enforcement seem to take a more difficult and confrontational path, fearing personal risk. In many circumstances they inflame the citizens they are engaging, thereby needlessly putting themselves in real and increased jeopardy"
The failed policies of the "War On Drugs" is also partially responsible for what is taking place today.  A total abolition of all drug laws should result in a dramatic decrease in the rate of police killings.  The criminalization of drugs has created an extensive, and well armed, black market to deal with the lucrative business of selling illegal drugs.   The law enforcement sector has responded in kind, thus creating a situation of real war between the two factions in this over-regulated country.
The fact that the citizens of the SDA live under an oppressive system of often contradictory laws that criminalize hundreds of amoral behaviors is also certainly a contributing factor.  The poor fellow wrestled to the ground and killed in New York a year or so ago was murdered by the cops for violating a law about selling cigarettes without the proper tax stamp.  Another poor soul in New Mexico was shot down and killed by the Albuquerque police because he was not quick enough when they ordered him to move the location of his residence.  He was a bum living on public lands.  Now he is dead.  The enforcement of the excessive number of laws and regulations has led to a widespread belief that the law is immoral, and the associated disrespect for the law has escalated the emotions involved when cops and citizens interact.
Last, it seems to me, cops have significantly changed their view of citizens.  I was speaking to a lady cop once, who was stationed at a government high school as her position of "service" to the community, and she continually referred to me as a "civilian."  Even for her the line had been drawn in the sand. She was the enforcer of the law and I was the civilian.  They are confrontational from the start.  To make matters even worse, the standard operating principle from the cops today is, "If I feel threatened I can use deadly force."  They seem to be threatened by just about everything, from barking dogs that are gunned down to mouthy drivers pulled over for a burned out tail light.
I don't think any of this will change.  Indeed, I believe it will only get worse.  Those people who have not been abused by the cops, especially conservatives, continue to preach the gospel of "law and order."  They call for more money and more guns to the cops to keep the "bad guys" in line.  I don't see any of this changing until they realize they have become one of the bad guys and their friends start getting gunned down in the streets.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Is There Anyone Left Who Thinks Logically?

Logic is dead.  Don't believe me?  Just read a daily newspaper or your favorite blog.  Nobody thinks anymore. Everybody just feels.  The reality of human confirmation bias assures me that the intellectual positions taken by people simply because they feel good about them are impossible to challenge or change in any way.  Any attempt to do so is rebuffed offhand for the obvious reason that challenges do not affirm prior beliefs.  People are not interested in being told they are wrong.  They are interested in being told they are right.  As a result, any criticism is ignored and all agreement is acknowledged as good and fair.  The day when people could engage in respectful debate on intellectual issues is dead, if it ever really existed.  I suspect it never really existed.
As a case in point consider a recent column by Kathleen Parker, writer for the Washington Post.  In a piece that showed up in my newspaper today, entitled "The Electoral College should be unfaithful," Kathleen, or Katy as her friends call her, makes a case for the Republican members of the Electoral College rejecting Donald Trump and installing either Mittens Romney or John "Mr. Excitement" Kasich as the next King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  In the course of making that argument Katy writes this:
"Mathematically, only 37 of Trump's 306 electors are needed to bring his number down to 269, one less than the 270 needed to secure the presidency.  On the Hamilton Electors' Facebook page, elector Bret Chiafalo, a Democrat from Washington, explains the purpose of the Electoral College.  If you haven't previously been a fan of the electoral system, you might become one.  Bottom line:  The Founding Fathers didn't fully trust democracy, fearing mob rule, and so created a republic.  They correctly worried that a pure democracy could result in the election of a demagogue (ahem), or a charismatic autocrat (ahem), or someone under foreign influence (ditto), hence the rule that a president must have been born in the US....Most important among the founder's criteria for a president was that he be qualified.  Thus, the Electoral College was created as a braking system that would, if necessary, save the country from an individual such as Trump."
Did you catch all that?  Let's consider the logic, or lack thereof, in Katy's argument.
Katy is upset that Hillary did not win the contest to become the first Queen of the SDA.  She believes that King-elect Donnie is a demagogue, a charismatic autocrat and under the influence of foreign powers, whatever that means.  (I sure hope he is not possessed by the demon of Hugo Chavez.) Furthermore, she argues that the Founding Fathers specifically designed a form of government that rejected a pure democracy because a pure democracy would, in their view,  inevitably bring about a state of affairs where demagogues, charismatic autocrats and individuals under the influence of foreign powers would be elected. So far, so good.
Katy, I have a question for you.  Who won the popular vote in the last contest to determine who would be our next King?  If I recall correctly, and I probably don't, it was Hillary who won the popular vote, and that by a rather large margin.  I have vague memories of some Hillary supporters telling me that she garnered over three million more votes than Donnie, clearly proving that if we lived in a pure democracy she would be coronated as our first Queen.  In fact, I think some people are running around at this very moment agitating for the abolition of the Electoral College so the pure voice of the majority can speak without hindrance.
Katy, I have another question for you.  Who won the majority of the electors from the Electoral College?  As I recall, and my memory is a bit foggy on this, Donnie won the majority of the electors, thus making him the next King of the SDA.  So Katy, a self-professed "fan" of the "electoral system" is now attempting to overthrow that very same system because it gave her a result she does not like.  At the same time Katy, in total contradiction with what she claims to believe about the electoral system, would like to see someone other than Donnie coronated next year because the system did not give her who she wanted.  So even though Katy believes the Electoral College is grand because it keeps us from mob rule, she wants to overthrow the Electoral College system because it did not give her the person the mob chose to be the next King/Queen.  Logic flew out the window of Katy's home a long time ago.
Katy's final comment is a wonderful example of irrational thought.  Katy does not like Donnie, I get that.  So how does she attack him? She claims he is unqualified, whatever that means.  I suspect it means that Donnie does not say and do things Katy likes or wants him to do, hence, he is unqualified. That is a brilliant bit of logic, isn't it?  After declaring Donnie to be unqualified she delivers this illogical gem, "Thus, the Electoral College was created as a braking system that would...save the country from an individual such as Trump."  She makes that assertion with a straight face despite the fact that it was the very same Electoral College she is claiming would keep Donnie out of office that delivered Donnie to the office.  Logic, logic, are you there? 
Katy makes a living writing stuff like this.  How can she do that?  I think I know.  I think Katy is a popular writer (and I am not) because she writes things that appeal to the emotions and feelings of her readers without any regard to rational argument or logical necessity.  That gives her a very large audience of folks who share her envy-filled views about how the government is god and exists to take money from the top 49% of the income population and give it to the bottom 51%.  Good for you Katy.  You have a successful career saying absolutely nothing of value to the tiny minority of people in this ignorant, stupid and foolish land who actually think about things rationally.  But have no fear about your future for you are a member of that great majority of irrational yokels you loath and fear so much.  They will never let you down.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Introducing Economic Dictator Trump

According to a report on cnbc.com yesterday, "The president-elect is showing a willingness to try to shape U.S. trade with China in ways that are politically more direct than previous administrations have been willing to discuss. On Sunday, he threatened — again — to use steep, blanket tariffs to stem imports into the United States.  He has repeatedly declared that exports should be a priority for U.S.-based companies, and has promised a tax structure that will help make them happen. His willingness to wield political influence over business matters isn't limited to trade. Over the last week, Trump has shown he isn't afraid to lean directly on U.S. companies that aren't behaving as he wants. On Tuesday morning, he used Twitter to pressure Boeing to charge less for a new Air Force One.  On Friday, he promised 'retribution' against firms that fire employees or build factories overseas. 'I was in Beijing a week ago, and at one point I said to an audience of government officials, it's going to be very interesting for you to work with an American leader who admires a lot of what you guys do,' said Ian Bremmer, a closely watched political scientist and founder of consulting firm Eurasia Group. When the officials showed surprise at Bremmer's mark, he explained what he meant: 'When you say, Jump to a company, they ask, How high? Trump would love that.'"
The now defunct Constitution of the United States of America never mentioned that the president has the power to approach profit seeking corporations and order them to "jump!"  Luckily for King-elect Donnie Trump the Constitution of the United States of America was suspended years ago.  Under the rules of operation for a King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika the King can do anything he can get away with.  The only thing stopping him from doing whatever he wants is impeachment and deposition from office by Congress or armed rebellion in the streets.
Look carefully at the things the blathering idiot elected to be our next King has said he will do.  King Donnie subscribes to the ridiculous and stupid economic theory that exports are good and imports are bad.  People who buy into that idiotic doctrine love to wail about the "trade imbalance" that exists in this country.  A trade imbalance, according to them, exists whenever the citizens of this country, operating freely and apart from government coercion, make the decision to buy more foreign goods than they sell domestically produced goods to foreigners.  For some inexplicable reason that is considered to be a bad state of affairs that requires government intervention, especially tariffs.
Donnie believes that foreign produced goods are evil and yet he also believes that domestically produced goods sold to foreigners (which end up being foreign produced goods to them) are good.  This is consistent with King Donnie's view that trade is an act of war with winners and losers.  It is difficult to describe just how stupid the man the majority of the voters elected to be King actually is.  It is also difficult to describe how harmful he could end up being for domestic profit seeking corporations.  His belief that he has the power and authority to conduct the affairs of profit seeking corporations in this country smacks of national socialism, also known as Nazism.  I am not accusing Donnie of being a Nazi.  He is not.  What he is, however, is one who adheres to many of the economic doctrines of the Nazis.  That is not a good thing by the way.
According to another report on cnbc.com on December 6, 2016, "Trump says SoftBank will invest $50 billion in the US, aiming to create 50,000 jobs.  Donald Trump said Monday that Japan's SoftBank has agreed to invest $50 billion in the US, aiming to create 50,000 jobs.  He announced the deal after meeting with Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, a Japanese billionaire and technology investor, at Trump Tower in New York. On Twitter, Trump claimed that Son said he 'would never do this' if Trump had not won the presidential election."
Am I the only one who sees the massive amount of hypocrisy on display by King Donnie in this? If an Amerikan company attempted to open a plant in a foreign land, thus creating 50,000 jobs in that foreign land, King Donnie would seek "retribution" against that company by imposing a 35% tax on all goods produced by it and sold in the SDA.  On the other hand, when a Japanese company does what Donnie despises he stands jubilant before the press and declares himself to be a master negotiator.  Why is Ford evil and SoftBank stupendous when they are doing the exact same thing?  The answer is the same as before.  King Donnie sees free trade as an act of war, with winners and losers.  He does not care about economic philosophy or moral principles.  He is a strict utilitarian who believes that winning, in his warped and demented world, is all that matters.  
Congratulations to the citizens of the SDA who voted for Donnie.  His economic hens will soon be coming home to roost.  Your wanted a megalomaniac who will "make Amerika great" and you are getting a madman who will do his best to destroy free trade, thus bringing harm to all the citizens of the world.  Don't blame me for what is about to happen.  I didn't vote.

Note: Given this is Pearl Harbor Day you might want to check out this link.  It tells the true story of how FDR sacrificed over 2000 lives to get what he wanted, namely, entrance into WWII.  What a despicable human being he was.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where Is The Celebration About Oil?

Did you hear the news?  I would guess that you have not.  The news is good, very good, so it was likely unreported where you live.  This is part of an AP report out of West Texas:
"A vast field of shale rock in West Texas could yield 20 billion barrels of oil, making it the largest source of shale oil  the US Geological Survey has ever assessed, agency officials said. The Wolfcamp Shale geologic formation in the Midland area also contains an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, the agency said in a release.  The discovery is nearly three times larger than the shale oil found in 2013 in the Bakken and Three Forks formation in the Dakotas and Montana."
Every King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika from Eisenhower through Bush II proclaimed one of the goals of his administration to be "energy independence."  Everyone understood what was meant by that phrase.  To be energy independent meant to be free of the OPEC cartel and its price manipulative policies.  It also meant that the security of the Amerikan Empire could not be compromised if our many enemies in the Middle East decided to shut off the flow of oil.
Since the SDA was successful in displacing the native peoples living in a geo-political zone now known as Israel, the SDA military has been involved in numerous operations in the Middle East.  In theory most of those operations have been to protect "Israel" from militant Muslim nations bent upon her destruction.  The reality of the situation, as all but a handful of Zionists will acknowledge, is that the real reason for the SDA to protect Israel is to maintain a military presence in the Middle East that will keep the flow of oil steady.  In the early years this was a very important matter.  Since the original establishment of Israel however the SDA has simply declared war on many Middle Eastern nations and built enormous military bases on their soil in order to keep the local population in check and keep oil flowing freely.  Here is a list of the military adventures of the SDA in the Middle East since Israel was created by UN decree:
  1. Lebanon Crisis:  1958
  2. Lebanese Civil War:  1982-84 
  3. The Tanker War:  1987-88
  4. Gulf War:  1990-1991
  5. Iraq War:  2003-2011
  6. War on ISIS:  2014-Present
All of these wars were fought to "maintain stability" in the Middle East.  Translating "maintain stability" means keep the supply of oil flowing to the biggest and baddest empire the world has ever known.
Look at this graphic:

 

Although the SDA, as a geo-political entity, is consuming more energy than ever, the total percentage of energy imported from sources outside the SDA has been dropping precipitously since 2005, when fracking began to liberate vast reserves of oil and natural gas in this country. 
The SDA government is reducing the total amount of oil in the strategic petroleum reserves because they are no longer needed to maintain energy independence (they never accomplished that goal anyway).  The SDA effectively became energy independent in 2014.  All OPEC nations could refuse to sell the SDA any oil from now on and it would have little to no impact upon energy supplies or prices in the SDA.  So, my question is, where is the celebration of this fact?
Isn't it wonderful the SDA will no longer be forced to fight wars, and kill millions of innocent foreigners, to keep the supply of oil flowing to this country?  Isn't it wonderful that tens of thousands of jobs are being created in oil fields around the country?  Isn't it wonderful that the Permian basis is back and stronger than ever?  Isn't it wonderful that good old Amerikan know-how and ingenuity is responsible for this revival of the energy industry in this land?  Isn't it wonderful that we are able to drive all we want and when it comes time to purchase gasoline it only costs $2.00 a gallon? Everything about the current status of SDA energy production is absolutely, marvelously, stupendously wonderful!  And yet the truth about the current state of SDA energy production is not even worthy of making the news and nobody, other than me and a couple of my Welsh friends, is doing any celebrating.  What a shame.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trump Seeks To Destroy SDA Businesses

King-elect Donnie Trump is one of the dumbest people in the world.  He made a series of announcements on Sunday via Tweet, whatever that is.  According to cnbc.com, "President-elect Donald Trump is threatening heavy taxes as retribution for U.S. companies that move their business operations overseas and still try to sell their product to Americans. In a series of early-morning tweets Sunday, Trump vowed a 35 percent tax on products sold inside the U.S. by any business that fired American workers and built a new factory or plant in another country."  The train wreck that is Donnie Trump has not yet even been coronated and he is already harming profit seeking businesses.  The man who would be dictator still has no official power and he is already seeking to harm all consumers in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Fortunately all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives and it is inconceivable that Paul Ryan will give Donnie what he wants.
I have some questions for our King-to-be about his proposed tax policy.  Your Highness, could you please explain the following:
  1. Given the fact that you campaigned on the promise of reducing government rules and regulations upon profit seeking businesses, please explain how this proposed tax allows you to fulfill that promise.
  2. What is the moral basis for your belief that having some portion of a final good produced in a country outside the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is wrong and needs to be punished?
  3. What is the economic basis for your belief that adding a 35% import tax to any final good that, at some point along the way, is touched by the hands of some stinkin' foreigner is a good idea?
  4. Do you have any idea how many companies have overseas operations?  Do you have any idea how many finished goods involve some sort of foreign participation in their production?  Do you have any conception of how intricate and detailed the production process for finished goods is?  
  5. How do you propose to track all finished goods in order to determine if any part of that good was produced, assembled or conceived of by people working in a foreign country as a part of an overseas operation of a domestic corporation?
  6. How large will the new bureau be that overseas your import tax?  How many taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the new bureau?
  7. If overseas operations are immoral, why are you not proposing criminal charges and punishments involving fines and imprisonment for anyone who breaks your proposed rules?
  8. How are you going to determine if a product is really made overseas?  For example, if Ford imports catalytic converters from a plant they own in Peru and installs them on cars sold domestically, will that product be subject to the tax?  Will the tax be on the entire product or just the piece of it made overseas?  If it is just on the piece of it made overseas do you have any idea how complex that is going to become as each good imported into the SDA will have to be broken down into its constituent parts and analyzed to determine who made it and where it was made? 
  9. Will this new tax be retroactive?  If so, how far back are you going to go?  If not, why is it fair to allow a company to outsource some of its operations a day prior to the enactment of the new law?  Do you see any perverse incentives being created by this new law?
King Donnie is an economic ignoramus.  His policies are all over the board as far as economic philosophy is concerned.  He operates entirely by the seat of his pants and according to whatever his emotions dictate at the time.   Fortunately, King Donnie's attempts to destroy SDA businesses will not be successful as Congress will never allow him to enact this stupid, ridiculous and damaging tax.